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  • Geebo 9:02 am on December 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: campsite, , hotel scam, , , , , , ,   

    You can be scammed at any vacation lodging 

    You can be scammed at any vacation lodging

    By Greg Collier

    Currently, we’re still in the middle of the Christmas vacation season. We hope our readers’ vacation plans went off without a hitch. Hopefully, you didn’t have to experience the massive flight cancellations that took place over the holiday weekend. We also hope your vacation lodging was also to your liking.

    The reason we brought up lodging specifically it that there have been a coupe of stories in the news about people being scammed out of their lodging choices. For example, vacationers to Marco Island, Florida, showed up to what they thought were vacation homes that they rented, only to find out they were rented to someone else. It seems that the victim in these cases paid money to scammers who listed the vacation rentals online but didn’t actually own the properties they claimed to rent. This is just a variation of the rental scam where people think they’re renting a home they found on craigslist when the home is either actually for sale or being rented by a real estate agency instead of some guy from craigslist.

    So instead of getting a rental home, you decide to go camping. There’s no way you can be scammed camping, right? It turns out you can, The state of Indiana is warning campers about third-parties who are claiming to rent out campsites at state parks and forests. The scammers collect the money, but when the campers get to the site they thought they paid for, the site has actually been rented to someone else. In the Hoosier State, campers can only reserve campsites in the state parks through the state itself. Check to see if the state you’re going camping in has the same rules.

    Hotels and short-term rental platforms like Airbnb have their own set of scams to worry about. You can read more about those here and here.

    If you chose to stay home for the holidays this year, you may have made the safest choice of all.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hotel scam, , , , ,   

    Summer vacation is scam season 

    Summer vacation is scam season

    By Greg Collier

    With the weather getting warmer and more pandemic restrictions being lifted, many families are looking to book vacations for the summer to make up for the time lost last year. However, traveling away from home can open consumers to a number of different scams they need to look out for. We’ve already discussed the rental car scam that is happening due to the rental car shortage. Now, warnings are going out about several scams that are related to vacation travel.

    The Better Business Bureau has put out a warning about various hotel scams. Since lodging is your home away from home during your vacation, it’s imperative to keep an eye out for these scams. According to the BBB, you should be aware of fake food delivery services. Scammers are said to distribute fake menus to hotels. When you call the number listed on the fake menu you’ll be directed to scammers who will take down your credit or debit card information and use it for their own purposes. Check with the front desk or look online to make sure the restaurant actually exists.

    Another popular hotel scam is when scammers will call your room posing as the front desk. The scammers will say that there is an issue with the card that was used at the front desk. Of course, they’ll ask you to verify your card number, which again will be used for theft. A hotel should never do this and will have patrons settle any billing issues at check out.

    Another problem that vacationers are facing is dealing with timeshares. Many people tried to get out of their timeshares over the last year due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, many people fell victims to scammers who promise to help get consumers out of their timeshare agreements. It’s been suggested that if you deal with your timeshare company directly, it will be cheaper to get out of your timeshare than hiring someone to do it who may not do anything after being paid.

    Lastly, the grandparent scam picks up during the summer months. With so many people being away from home, it’s easier to convince someone that a loved one is missing. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one who’s in some kind of dire trouble, and they ask for money, that call could be nothing more than a scam.

    Hopefully, you can now have an even better vacation now that you know some of the scams to look out for.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hotel scam, , , ,   

    More cold weather scams to be aware of 

    By Greg Collier

    When we think of natural disasters, we normally think of things like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes. However, the current brutal winter conditions that a large part of the country are currently enduring is also a natural disaster. As such, the current climate crisis is bringing scammers out of the woodwork. We’ve already touched upon how scammers are using the power outages to steal your information or gain access to your home, but other scams are starting to emerge as well.

    In Texas, where residents have been the hardest hit by the cold, FEMA is warning residents about a scam propagating on social media. In this scam, fake social media accounts are posing as FEMA and are listing a phone number for residents to call so they can be provided with a free hotel room. As of the time of this writing, FEMA is not providing any hotel room assistance, however, they are providing other emergency services to the Lone Star State. FEMA hasn’t stated what the purpose of this scam is, but one could assume it’s designed to steal your identity, money, or both.

    While Texas is feeling the brunt of the current weather situation, other states are dealing with the record-breaking weather as well. States in The Great Plains and Midwest are also dealing with rolling blackouts, just not on the level of Texas. Like any other natural disaster, this has the potential for some retailers and lodgings to start price gouging. Most states have laws preventing vendors from excessively raising their prices during a time of crisis. If you encounter price gouging, it’s recommended that you document the incident and report it to the state’s Attorney General office. Price gouging can also happen where an emergency has not been declared, so be on the lookout for that if you’re leaving your current state for a neighboring state that may not be going through the same crisis.

     
  • Geebo 8:01 am on September 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , hotel scam, , , ,   

    Another trio of identity theft scams to look out for 

    Another trio of identity theft scams to look out for

    Once again, we’re bringing you a trio of scams that are happening around the country. We think you should keep an eye out for them before they come to your area.

    The first scam literally is one that is happening all across the country. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has issued a warning about a Social Security scam that’s targeting seniors. Scammers are posing as the Department of Justice and are looking to steal personal information. The scammers will leave a number to call back which will lead you to a phony investigator who will ask you for your personal information. If you receive one of these phone calls, you’re asked to report them to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or the FTC website.

    The Department of Health from the state of North Dakota is reporting that residents there have been receiving worrying messages about COVID-19. People there have been receiving texts, emails, and even letters telling them that they’ve tested positive for coronavirus. However, many of the people receiving these messages haven’t even been tested for coronavirus. The messages contain a link that directs them to a website where they’re asked for personal information. You should never click on links from or open any attachments from someone that you don’t know personally.

    Lastly, if you find yourself staying at a hotel on a getaway, be careful what information you give over the hotel phone. Police in Wrightsville, North Carolina are warning vacation goers about a scam that has hit their area. Police there say that scammers are calling hotel rooms posing as the front desk and asking for personal information. Sometimes the scammers will even try to get financial information out of their victims. Please keep in mind that the hotel will not ask for payment information away from the front desk. If you receive a call like this while staying at a hotel either call the front desk directly or go straight to the front desk personally.

     
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